Palantir : Unlocking Secrets, if Not Its Own Value - NYTimes.com
Founded in 2004, in part with $2 million from the Central Intelligence Agency’s (#CIA) venture capital arm (#IN-Q-Tel), #Palantir makes software that has illuminated terror networks and figured out safe driving routes through a war-torn Baghdad. It has also tracked car thieves, helped in disaster recovery and traced salmonella outbreaks. United States attorneys deployed its technology against the hedge fund SAC Capital, which was also an early investor in the company.
(...) Its advisers include James Carville, the Democratic strategist; Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state; George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director; and Michael Ovitz, the former head of Disney Studios and Hollywood superagent.
(...) difficile de faire plus #silicon_army que ça, mais ce sont quand même des « idéalistes » qui veulent « sauver le monde » :
“When you are saving the world, fighting fraud and slave labor, you can do great things,” Mr. Karp said. Palantir does not charge for most humanitarian work, which is a source of internal pride. “What concerns me,” he said, “is working with commercial entities, and non-U.S. governments.”
(...) Palantir has worked to recover from its own ethical lapses, but Mr. Karp acknowledges that it cannot control the ethics of its customers.
(...) Palantir is not the first company dealing with big data that has been conflicted between ideals and commerce.
Palantir began in the mind of Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor and PayPal founder
sur l’affaire Anonymous :
In 2011, the world got a taste of what could go wrong with Palantir’s confluence of commerce and surveillance. Along with two Beltway intelligence firms, a Palantir employee had pitched a Washington law firm on ways that it could expose the workings of WikiLeaks, the group that publishes secret government and private-sector information. The pitch included the idea of using disinformation and cyberattacks.
The idea fizzled, but Anonymous, the loosely associated network of cyberactivists, posted both the pitch and emails indicating that Palantir also proposed creating misinformation about journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, who wrote in support of WikiLeaks and who recently shared a Pulitzer Prize for his articles on Edward J. Snowden’s leaking of National Security Agency spying documents.
Mr. Karp publicly apologized to Mr. Greenwald. On the recommendation of an outside law firm, the employee was suspended for a while, but still works at Palantir.
et encore, à propos des capacités de google :
Courtney Bowman, a former Google employee, works at a Palantir as a “civil liberties engineer,” (...): “I was a quantitative analyst at Google, doing ad auction design and targeting,” he says. “I had access to ways of deriving personal identity information without breaking any laws. It was a constant anxiety to me.”